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AHC Seeks Input about Equestrian Access to Federal Land

December 18, 2010     E-mail this page to a friend!

The American Horse Council (AHC) is continuing its effort to collect information on access issues equestrians are experiencing on federal lands. The centerpiece of this effort is an online form equestrians can use to report their personal experiences regarding trails that have been closed to them or other access issues on federal land. This online form is located on the AHC website:

Based in part on these responses, the AHC will soon be publishing a 2010 report regarding equestrian access on federal land.

"It is vital that all equestrians report their experiences on federal land good and bad," said Ben Pendergrass, AHC legislative director. "Equestrians need to relay their 2010 experiences to us by the end of the year so we can include them in the 2010 report. This information is vital to AHC efforts to protect equestrian recreation on federal land."

Last February the AHC released its first report on equestrian access to federal land, which provided a brief overview of the responses the AHC received from equestrians to its ongoing access survey in 2009. The report can be viewed on the AHC website.

The AHC began its effort to collect information regarding equestrian access issues on federal lands in July 2009. This effort was prompted by recreational riders around the country who were concerned that they were seeing a reduction in the number of trails and trailheads open to equestrians on federal land.

"Hundreds of thousands of Americans use horses and pack stock to enjoy America's great outdoors each year," said Pendergrass. "However, it is an experience that cannot be enjoyed without access to public land, trail systems, and trailheads."

"The AHC uses the survey and the year-end report to illustrate some of the challenges facing recreational riders," said AHC President Jay Hickey. "Our federal land managers work hard to provide recreational opportunities, and we need to make sure they have adequate information about what some equestrians are experiencing. The annual Report on Equestrian Access on Federal Land is just one part of our efforts to ensure equestrians continue to have recreational opportunities on federal land."

The AHC asks all recreational riders now and in the future to visit the AHC website and report any land access issues they have had using their electronic form.